by business editor Trevor Sturgess
Kent's new Lord Lieutenant assumed office today with a pledge to help young people find work.
Viscount De L'Isle, of Penshurst Place, one of the county's most popular visitor attractions, is the 29th Lord Lieutenant of Kent and takes over from businessman Allan Willett.
On taking up his appointment as the Queen's representative in the county, he said: "Across the county and in Medway we are blessed with an army of volunteers working tirelessly to support others and particularly assisting our youth, the seed corn of tomorrow's Kent. I look forward to visiting and working with these charities.
"We face changing times in the field of youth employment and it is my hope the Lieutenancy can work with all the agencies involved to ensure our children can find work suited to their set of skills."
Lord De L'Isle paid tribute to his predecessor: "I am immensely honoured to have been appointed Lord Lieutenant in succession to Allan Willett, who has done so much for Kent and its Lieutenancy during his ten years in office. I know everyone in Kent would wish me to thank him on their behalf and wish him and Mrs Willett a long and happy retirement."
He urged every resident to celebrate Kent, its extraordinary history and culture, serve their communities and "contribute positively to our future success."
Over the next 12 months, the county would be celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games.
It was important to welcome overseas teams and the many spectators who "will have sensibly decided to stay in Kent and travel into the games by public transport. This is a great opportunity for us to showcase our amazing county and encourage visitors to return in future."